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Upgrading to Disk Brake Wheelsets

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Upgrading to Disk Brake Wheelsets

Old 08-28-20, 12:34 PM
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haleemur
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Upgrading to Disk Brake Wheelsets

I have two bikes that have campy record 10s & campy chorus 11 speed (2015). I love my bikes & would like to continue riding them until I'm dead or too old to ride bikes anymore.

As rim brakes are getting less and less popular with manufacturers, I'm wondering what I would have to change to continue using my bike. I've also heard that rim brakes are not that safe for carbon clinchers because the heat generated through braking might melt the resin, and I would at some point like to get a deep section wheelset for my racier bike (the one kitted with 2015 chorus)

Obviously, I would need a disk wheelset. But what can I do to adapt my brake lever / shifter to work with the disk brake. Is there any frame compatibility I need to look into as well?

Thank you for your advice.
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Old 08-28-20, 12:45 PM
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If your frame and fork do not have disc mounts, you won't be able to convert them. You can change a fork for a disc compatible one.

There are adapters sold to add disc mounts to frames and forks, but the consensus is that they are very dangerous.
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Old 08-28-20, 01:12 PM
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Don't worry, rim brakes will not be going away soon.
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Old 08-28-20, 01:25 PM
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I read recently that the whole Jumbo Visma team are riding rim brakes. Also, that there has yet to be a Tour de France winner on a disc brake brake bike. As long as World Tour riders are wanting/riding them,q
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Old 08-28-20, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by haleemur View Post
I have two bikes that have campy record 10s & campy chorus 11 speed (2015). I love my bikes & would like to continue riding them until I'm dead or too old to ride bikes anymore.

As rim brakes are getting less and less popular with manufacturers, I'm wondering what I would have to change to continue using my bike. I've also heard that rim brakes are not that safe for carbon clinchers because the heat generated through braking might melt the resin, and I would at some point like to get a deep section wheelset for my racier bike (the one kitted with 2015 chorus)

Obviously, I would need a disk wheelset. But what can I do to adapt my brake lever / shifter to work with the disk brake. Is there any frame compatibility I need to look into as well?

Thank you for your advice.
Early versions of carbon clinchers had those issues, and mostly for riders who were doing a lot of mountain riding with long descents. I know of an incident on Levi's Grand Fondo a few years ago.

But as to your question, you'd need a new wheelset, new fork, new frame, new levers. Oh and of course new brakes. Even if you could adapt your existing bike (and I don't think you could) it would be cost prohibitive.
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Old 08-28-20, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Early versions of carbon clinchers had those issues, and mostly for riders who were doing a lot of mountain riding with long descents. I know of an incident on Levi's Grand Fondo a few years ago.

But as to your question, you'd need a new wheelset, new fork, new frame, new levers. Oh and of course new brakes. Even if you could adapt your existing bike (and I don't think you could) it would be cost prohibitive.
You need a new bike!! That's how I got disc brakes.
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Old 08-28-20, 02:53 PM
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Welcome to BF! I expect you'll be able to get rim brake components for as long as you want to ride your bikes. You'll have plenty of company.
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Old 08-28-20, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Early versions of carbon clinchers had those issues, and mostly for riders who were doing a lot of mountain riding with long descents. I know of an incident on Levi's Grand Fondo a few years ago.

But as to your question, you'd need a new wheelset, new fork, new frame, new levers. Oh and of course new brakes. Even if you could adapt your existing bike (and I don't think you could) it would be cost prohibitive.
After doing a lot of research earlier this year, I personally am not comfortable with carbon rims and rim brakes -- especially with tubeless tires. The failures are not common, but the consequences are dramatic. I went with alloy rims for my rim brake bike. My next bike will definitely have disc brakes though. I find I'm pushing the limits of my brakes on some of the steeper descents around here.
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Old 08-28-20, 03:51 PM
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You would need a whole new bike. You can't adapt disc brakes to rim brake bikes. A lot of the negative publicity surrounding rim brake cf wheels comes from older technology. There has been improvements in cf rim brake technology. Companies are using higher, heat resistant resins and laser etching the surface of the brake track. I'm using a set of Mavic that have "ItG max" technology, which is essentially what I just outlined. I don't live in the alps, nor do I ride in wet weather, but the braking power is plenty good in the dry. If I were a heavier rider, did a lot of descending, or rode in rainy conditions I would search out disc brakes.
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Old 08-28-20, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by mattcalifornia View Post
After doing a lot of research earlier this year, I personally am not comfortable with carbon rims and rim brakes -- especially with tubeless tires. The failures are not common, but the consequences are dramatic. I went with alloy rims for my rim brake bike. My next bike will definitely have disc brakes though. I find I'm pushing the limits of my brakes on some of the steeper descents around here.
Depends on where you live and what kinds of riding you do. I have no concerns with my Williams 58 clinchers, but I mostly use mine for racing crits and TTs. My next CX bike will probably have discs, but I don't have any need on the road.
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Old 08-29-20, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Depends on where you live and what kinds of riding you do. I have no concerns with my Williams 58 clinchers, but I mostly use mine for racing crits and TTs. My next CX bike will probably have discs, but I don't have any need on the road.
Rim brakes are great most of the time, but almost all of my rides are hill-focused, and when the descents get around 13% and up, I'd rather have discs. (Maybe if I can back down to my college weight, it wouldn't be as much of a concern!)
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Old 08-29-20, 01:01 AM
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
I read recently that the whole Jumbo Visma team are riding rim brakes. Also, that there has yet to be a Tour de France winner on a disc brake brake bike. As long as World Tour riders are wanting/riding them,q
Yes, and apparently the reason is because the Bianchi Oltre XR4 is one of the heavier bikes in the Peloton so they are loathe to add more weight, hence rim. They have gone so far as adopting a lighter paint scheme for this year too.

Next year they are on Cervelo's with...you guessed it, disc brakes. It won't be too long before a disc bike takes the Tour because as bikes get closer to the 6.8kg and have discs, then they will become increasingly preferred - not least because the Sponsor's will force it when there is no weight disadvantage argument.

It isn't a rider choice of rim vs disc for braking performance, it is a team management decision based upon keeping weight down overall so as to be competitive.

https://cyclingtips.com/2020/08/what...out-the-grams/


In so far as conversion's go OP, disc frames are designed for the specific stresses of disc brakes. They are not like for like. It isn't a good idea to try and convert.
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Old 08-29-20, 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Princess_Allez View Post
You would need a whole new bike. You can't adapt disc brakes to rim brake bikes. A lot of the negative publicity surrounding rim brake cf wheels comes from older technology. There has been improvements in cf rim brake technology. Companies are using higher, heat resistant resins and laser etching the surface of the brake track. I'm using a set of Mavic that have "ItG max" technology, which is essentially what I just outlined. I don't live in the alps, nor do I ride in wet weather, but the braking power is plenty good in the dry. If I were a heavier rider, did a lot of descending, or rode in rainy conditions I would search out disc brakes.
Yep, a whole new bike. An expensive upgrade.

I have both rim and disc. I have an overwhelming preference for my disc bike on steep descents and wet weather - not that I deliberately set out in wet weather, I'd have to be caught in it. There is zero contest. The caveat to that is that my rim bike is running carbon 2019 Zipp 303's with matching Zipp pads. Utterly useless in direct comparison in wet weather and still nowhere near as effective as disc downhill. On the flat, the discs are still better but the margin is much closer. I ride my rim bike as much as my disc - heck, the rim bike is my lightweight 'climbing' bike so gets to still see the steepest descents anyway after the climbs!

Rim brakes work, have done for decades. Some are better than others, carbon rims do degrade performance so we have to adapt to that. Ultimately, disc's are better stoppers overall though. As I said, I still ride rim too, I know that it comes with limitations because now I experience it and can quantify it.
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Old 08-29-20, 02:09 AM
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Originally Posted by AlgarveCycling View Post
Yes, and apparently the reason is because the Bianchi Oltre XR4 is one of the heavier bikes in the Peloton so they are loathe to add more weight, hence rim. They have gone so far as adopting a lighter paint scheme for this year too.

Next year they are on Cervelo's with...you guessed it, disc brakes. It won't be too long before a disc bike takes the Tour because as bikes get closer to the 6.8kg and have discs, then they will become increasingly preferred - not least because the Sponsor's will force it when there is no weight disadvantage argument.

It isn't a rider choice of rim vs disc for braking performance, it is a team management decision based upon keeping weight down overall so as to be competitive.

https://cyclingtips.com/2020/08/what...out-the-grams/


In so far as conversion's go OP, disc frames are designed for the specific stresses of disc brakes. They are not like for like. It isn't a good idea to try and convert.
For racing, it's not just the weight -- there is also an aero penalty for disc brakes. For my purposes, though, I'd just prefer stronger braking coming down the steeps.
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Old 08-29-20, 02:25 AM
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You can get HED wheels - carbon wheels, Al braking rims, up there in most aero tests and very sensibly priced.
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Old 08-29-20, 03:39 AM
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Originally Posted by AlgarveCycling View Post
It won't be too long before a disc bike takes the Tour because as bikes get closer to the 6.8kg and have discs, then they will become increasingly preferred - not least because the Sponsor's will force it when there is no weight disadvantage argument
.
I think the reason no one has won the TdF on discs is because the same team has had a strangle hold on the top of the podium. The only interruption was Niboli and that was before discs were legal.
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Old 08-29-20, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by haleemur View Post
I've also heard that rim brakes are not that safe for carbon clinchers because the heat generated through braking might melt the resin, and I would at some point like to get a deep section wheelset for my racier bike (the one kitted with 2015 chorus)
While I am a fan of disc brakes for multiple reasons, I cannot recommend trying to "update" a non-disc bike to a disc bike for a multitude of reasons. If you want to switch to disc brakes, sell your existing bike(s) and getting one that is designed for discs. I am also a firm believer that if rim brakes are working for you now, they'll work for you in the future so don't feel obligated to switch to disc brakes.

As for your quest to get deep section wheels, my experience has been that stopping power with carbon rim brake wheels is awful... the worst braking of any brake options short of no brakes at all. While some companies have special coatings or surfaces on the brake track of their carbon wheels to make braking suck less, they still are not great for braking and things only get worse in wet conditions. Aluminum rim brake wheels offer vastly superior braking to carbon wheels for way les cost. Heck, some aluminum wheel manufacturers are making semi-aero aluminum rimmed wheel sets that are nearly as light as carbon wheels.

Are you planning on competing or just looking for a little aero advantage with a deeper section wheel? My opinion would be to look for an aero cross-section quality aluminum wheel set and call it a day. While I have deep section carbon wheels, the reality is that the benefits are way over-hyped for the average rider. (Ooops, did I just say that??!?!) Think about it... an aero wheel set will likely only save you a few seconds or a few minutes off your average ride at the expense of braking capability. Does it really matter if you're 3 minutes slower on your ride if you're not competing? Probably not.
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Old 08-29-20, 10:37 AM
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8 Reasons.

https://road.cc/content/feature/8-re...-brakes-256225
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Old 09-01-20, 01:09 PM
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Thank you all for your suggestions. I am loathe to sell either of my bikes. Since an upgrade to disk is not an option, I will get carbon rims + carbon braking pads and only use them when I don't expect to be caught in the rain.

I guess when I have to get a new bike frame, I will get a disk brake frame.
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Old 09-01-20, 01:46 PM
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Can always get Hed Jets. Aluminum brake track + aero.
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Old 09-01-20, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
But as to your question, you'd need a new wheelset, new fork, new frame, new levers. Oh and of course new brakes. Even if you could adapt your existing bike (and I don't think you could) it would be cost prohibitive.
Wheelset: depends. See below.
Fork: yes.
Frame: depends. You could keep a rim brake for the less powerful rear brake. This would require a custom wheelset to get a rim brake capable rear that matches your front, or take a standard front wheel (like your current one) and rebuild it with new spokes and disc brake hub.
Levers: no. Plenty of cable operated disc brake calipers available allowing use of a full 'rim brake' groupset.

My first disc brake road bike was built up just like the above. My second used an actual disc brake frame but maintained cable operated brakes so that I could use a standard Chorus group.
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Old 09-01-20, 09:48 PM
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I would not be investing money into a rim brake bike. The writing is on the wall.
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